Explore the most popular trails near Escalante with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Escalante, Utah Map
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This trail is poorly marked so was difficult for a first timer (me). The reviews suggest that u can “drop down” into canyon at various places but you r still dropping down on slick rock or sand. The loop is better clockwise but the “junction” is not marked. Hard to find the clockwise trail; The cairns are only visible after you start dropping down the slick rock which normally isn’t my first choice. The climb back up - whether on sand or slick rock is pretty strenuous

off road driving
5 days ago

The last 9.5 miles of the road is in the Glen Canyon Recreations Area and roads are rougher. Recommend a 4 wheel drive or high clearance vehicle for the last 10 miles. About 4 miles from the Hole in the Rock (HITR) you can find a 1957 plaque recognizing the San Juan mission of the Mormons. Ir can be found on the north face of the rock near the drilling site and equipment. ~5 miles from HITR you will find the Reflection Canyon TH. Given this is a BLM land managed area of the park system, there is little development and signage, but lots of wilderness areas and side hikes including slot canyons and arches. Recommend anyone visiting this area to invest in the National Geographic Trails Illustrated topographic map "Canyons of the Escalante" map 710. High ranking for the history, sheer number of hikes, and variety in landscapes.

on Boulder Mail Trail

backpacking
5 days ago

This will be my favorite backpack memory. I had a blast. did it over 3 days. arrived the first day only did a few miles to the water source. 2nd days went in and out of death hollow all the way to the 3rd canyon where we found water. 3rd day we hiked out. we only saw 2 other people over the whole trip. In death hollow we traveled slowly due to having to cross the river a bunch. also lots of poison ivy. Hard hike out of Death Hollow. The last day was tough too since you have to switch back down a loose rocky trail down to escalante. but I would do this again. not for the faint of heart.

hiking
7 days ago

We stopped by on our way back from Spooky. Well worth the 1/2 hour stroll around. Great formations

Splendid slots, busy on a Saturday. We dropped into Peek-a-boo about half way up to avoid the rock face at the beginning. Went down and then came back and completed the whole slot. Hiked over to the top of Spooky and did it from the top down. Much easier this way

hiking
7 days ago

We never did find the arch but the canyon was great. Lightly travelled, there is a river crossing about 1 1/2 miles in. Check out KivaKoffee house on Route 12

on Bighorn Canyon Trail

hiking
8 days ago

We explored this canyon instead of going to Zebra due to chest high water there. These slots have the same coloration of Zebra and are longer. Also met a guide who recommended climbing to the top of the canyon. We did and the views of the Grand Staircase were incredible.

Fabulous slot canyons. Views from the top were spectacular

This was absolutely worth the 30 mile drive down a dirt road!!! I did this in July and it was sweltering hot. Make sure to bring plenty of water. The slot canyons are incredible. I can’t say enough good things about this!!

on Devils Garden

hiking
16 days ago

It’s truly an amazing playground for adults also! We got there before sunset and took a lot of very beautiful pictures. Perfect choice for a short day activity.

Sept. 25th hiked with 2 others to this area;
from trail head, we followed this app & Cairns to the bottom, there are 3 slot Canyons here, when you get to dry river bed there are no signs or directions; it’s not obvious where to go;
to the left you will see a good size Canyon, that is “Dry Fork” which is wide, easy to walk through nice. Good option if others are too narrow & hard. The entrance to Peek-a-boo is very near, instead of going toward Dry Canyon, follow the trail to the right, then into the dry creek bed, almost straight across you will see an opening/ slot into/between the rock, this is “Peek-a-boo” & requires some climbing to get in, other hikers helped and 2 of our group made it in (not me) they went though this one then through Spooky and back down on dry creek bed. said one 6 foot drop which they found a way around, was narrow and had some more climbs - they loved it!
if you head right down the dry creek you can go into Spooky that way too and see a little of it but everyone says it’s much harder making the loop in that direction. Wear Boots or shoes with good traction, unless you have 4wheel drive plan on walking from 1st parking lot 1 mile to trail head.

Absolutely fantastic. Completed this loop with a three-year-old. He freakin' crushed it! Some extremely difficult/narrow parts where adults were literally passing him through pitches and curves, and only one near anxiety attach, but he made it. VERY narrow and no escape. Would not recommend for dogs. Extremely tight areas, with very little room to navigate/turn-around. Everyone should do the hike starting by going up Peek-a-Boo and down Spooky; one way traffic! Water, water, water!

Incredible hike; wishing I would have looked at this before I started. Waist high water, narrow, but mild. Some of the most beautiful slot canyons I'll ever see. Fantastic.

This trail is tough to get to. You will off-road for at least 6 miles so make sure you got a vehicle that can handle it. Once you get to the trailhead you have to hike through a mile and a half of sand (we did it in June- I don’t recommend). There was tons of animal feces and you have to do assisted lifts to get over some rocks towards the slots. The trail is empty though and there are some really pretty slots, especially if you are there the right time of day. Beautiful views at certain points. But you WILL CLIMB. I would travel at least 3 deep with this trail. And bring plenty of water and snacks. You won’t want to carry much else though because there are tight points to get through and we did a lot of assisting.

This is not the Red Canyon (aka Peek-a-boo Canyon), where the trailhead is on US-89 about 10 miles north of Kanab, Utah.

hiking
24 days ago

Zebra was very narrow, water about Waist deep, about 2/3 of the way got so narrow I turned back, one person got through that spot and the Canyon was beautiful red strips, first part was pretty too, We meet other hikers and went in back of Tunnel Canyon which we liked better not as narrow and not as much water, followed River mostly back.

25 days ago

2.6 miles to Canyon entrance, took little over an hour going in. Water was almost waist deep & cold. Canyon it got too narrow for me & I went back, one person in our group got through that spot to area of red strips.
We meet other hikers and followed them to back of Tunnel Canyon, lower water level and not as narrow, easy to get through, then followed river bed (mostly) back to car.

Loads of fun! We took the trail up and the river walk back, if the water isn’t too high we would highly recommend it. The natural bridge alone is worth the trip but the granary along the left canyon wall is the best we’ve seen in two weeks of exploring Utah! Keep hiking until you’re tired of wrestling with the sand, pop into the river for a cool, leisurely and solitary walk backcourt

off road driving
1 month ago

Nice drive especially in October when aspens are turning color. We also did this route in late May. Washboards are bad at the start but then thin out and are almost non-existent as you travel on. Both times we turned off onto Forest Rd #154 and went out to Bicknell. Posey Lake is a nice stop for lunch.

One of my all time favorite hikes!! We had to drive on a long dirt road to get to the trailhead and it wasn’t very heavily trafficked which I LOVED! The trails were marked by cairns at at some point got iffy to follow so make sure to pay attention, especially in the wash at towards the end by the tunnel slots. Also towards the end you will find yourself walking in heavy sand which ends up being a great workout but depending on when you go it can be hot—at least when we went so bring lots of water—make sure you’re in shape for this one & Check the weather before you go also because you are in a wash most the time. The slots were up to my chest in water when I went in and it got pretty narrow so I couldn’t go all the way back but it was gorgeous! definitely recommend this one!!!

Road is easy but the washboard condition make it not worth it. Just beats you to death!

Trail starts at the Escalante river trailhead. First river crossing is about 50 yards into the trail. Sand is deep, so makes this trail slow going. Water feels refreshing. I just wore a pair of shoes that I didn’t mind getting wet. Swapping out for each crossing would suck. After Natural Bridge, watch for the Indian ruins and a jug handle arch on your left. I tracked it as 4.6 miles. Feel free to dm me if you have questions @anderson.outdoors

We took Cedar Wash road west from Hole-in-the-Rock road and soon came to a deep wash. Recent heavy rains had made it nearly impassable - our 4x4 truck bottomed out pretty hard. NOT PASSABLE TO CARS unless you approach from Escalante side. Couldn’t find the trailhead to either Cedar Arch or Covered Wagon. Saw side roads but no obvious signs. Since the last sign we saw noted that we were passing through private land and never back in the GSE, we opted to be conservative and left. We were told that very strong storms had come through a week or so earlier, and maybe some signs are missing? The only reason for the low rating is that there were no real directions/descriptions of the trailhead and therefore, no hike for us!

So fun! Getting within one mile of the trailhead was easy in a small 2wd rental car and took about an hour from the paved road - however the last mile before the trailhead was definitely *not* passable in a low clearance car.

The hike was incredible! So much fun. There’s lots of scrambling involved - the first crux is climbing into peek-a-boo canyon which was a little slippery, and the second crux was going deep into spooky slot under a few large boulders. Was definitely glad to have GPS navigating between the end of peek-a-boo and the start of spooky - the trails and cairns are all over the place.

Such a fantastic adventure! Last word of advice is to not keep any soft fruit in your backpack, it will likely be crushed 

I was most worried about the Egypt road to get to the trailhead, but it is passable with only a few stream/wash crossings that are sketchy. Beautiful formation, and nice walk along the river.

hiking
1 month ago

About an hour hike all together. Don't really see how you can be "stranded on the cliff" as another hiker mentioned. I think the trail route is showing the fact that you can walk right up to the top of the arch and see it from that angle.

The part that shows the way down into the wash is correct. However, after that, just follow the deepest part of the wash instead of trying to stick to the slick rock. Though don't miss an impressive collection of huecos just around the bend once you climbed down.

I took the road north from the town of Escalante (Proctor Road). You can also get here from Hole in the Rock Road though within the first mile you’ll see a wash that might stop you if you’re in a sedan or after a storm.

Really fun hike! Quite the long, empty desert drive out to the hike though. Make sure you have a full tank of gas before you make the drive ‘cause there are no gas stations nearby—at least not when we did the hike, (which was in 2013). Also, it’s a very rough road...four-wheel drive adventure vehicles recommended for the road to this hike.

It offers great, beautiful canyon exploring. My family & I really enjoyed the hike. Just be prepared with water. Though it seems like it would be a short hike, it is hot and it does take awhile. Snacks and other random things you might not normally bother to hike with, like tissues, are also a good idea for just-in-case scenarios. (For instance, my brother had a major nosebleed half-way through the hike, prob. b/c the extreme, dry heat. Tissues would have been nice...) Also, a compass might be useful, or using this gps trail map. Once you leave the first canyon, it is a little difficult to find the next canyon. Maybe directional signs have been added since we hiked it, but there weren’t any indications of where to go back when we hiked it.

The road getting to the trailhead is about 26 miles of washboard, gravel, sand and decent sized rocks. If you have a vehicle built for these conditions you can make it there pretty quick but we took our time to spare the wear and tear on our vehicle and it took us about 2 hours to get to the trailhead (from the paved road). When making the turnoff from the road to the trailhead most vehicles can make it to the first parking lot (about 1 mile) but the last mile plan on walking in cause the ruts in the road are very large.

As for the trail. The first portion of the trail is descending down into coyote canyon. From Here you will see about a 10 foot wall with some handholds, this will get you in to peek a boo gulch. From here you can take your time exploring the gulch. It gets pretty narrow towards the end. The gulch widens and ascends back up.

You then are above the ground for a while as you follow the cairns to spooky gulch.

Spooky gulch is much narrower than peekaboo and you are a lot further down. We were in this gulch around 5 PM and there was not a ton of light. Our saving grace was these reviews that stated about when you get to the obstruction of the trail by the rockslide. We found the opening on the left side. My husband went down first, then we used a rope to drop our bags down, then he helped me through. There is about a 9 foot drop down onto a flat and stable rock. At this point there is no turning back. The gulch gets EXTREMELY narrow and you have to carry your backpack for most of it. Just keep going because there is an end the the gulch eventually widens. The footing is not flat through the very narrow portion. You then follow the dried up riverbed back to coyote canyon.

I highly recommend downloading an offline map, that saved us from getting lost from peekaboo to spooky gulch. (We used the app maps.me). Thanks to the offline map keeping us on the trail took us about 3 hours including the 1 mile walk in from the first parking lot.

Bring lots of water!! This would be a difficult/scary hike to do alone!

Amazing views! Did this in June and it was HOT. One of the best hikes I’ve done, amazing slots. A little tricky point in Spooky you have to climb down- there were 4 of us and we had to assist, but might be difficult for some first timers. Went on a Friday around 10 am and wasn’t crowded at all. Would do again in a heartbeat.

Great location for spotting dinosaur tracks. My son loved picking them out once he knew what to look for. It’s a bit confusing to find the tracks. They are up on the top bench of white sandstone near the edge. They aren’t a Dino sized hole or something but instead a circular impression that’s in a line with 10-12 others in a distinct track. There’s probably a dozen or so tracks. As far as hiking you climb up some petrified sandstone dunes that are very neatly cross-beaded.

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